Ike, troops disrespected
Given his background in politics and especially his speech writing for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, it was no surprise to me that in Douglas MacKinnon’s debut column in The Tampa Tribune (“Ike’s D-Day note holds lessons for White House,” front page, June 6), he chose every national problem, regional conflict and world issue to find fault with President Barack Obama.
It was a surprise, however, to see how he chose to disrespect Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and every member of the U.S. armed forces who fought on D-Day to attack our current president on its 70th anniversary and to use Gen. Eisenhower’s well-known words as ammunition in that attack.
Surely, MacKinnon’s debut column would have had a much greater impact had he chosen to honor all who served on that day and to remember those who gave their lives in what became the turning point of World War II in the European Theater. He will have plenty of column space to express his negative opinions of our current commander in chief. It should not have been done on the 70th anniversary of D-Day using Gen. (and later President) Eisenhower’s words.
Bernard H. Lieving Jr.
The writer is a chaplain (colonel), U.S. Army (Ret.).
Dereliction of duty
We have lost our will to continue business. We are closing a satellite operation. We must clear out the inventory. No reasonable, or even unreasonable, offer will be refused. One deserter is worth five generals — just capture an armed services member or citizen anywhere in the world and see how much you can get!
Obviously, management is confusing the end of combat operations in Afghanistan with the end of the war being waged against the world by radical Islamists.
The enemy has not declared the end of the war. Why are we? The enemy is more determined than ever to save the world from its sinful ways. The war of ideologies will not be over until the scourge of radicalism and the accompanying terror tactics is eliminated. How long should we keep the doors open? Until the war is over — a lifetime if necessary.
An admiral recently compared the return of a deserter to a “man overboard” incident. Yes, the captain will order a reversal in course to save a man overboard, assuming the seas are navigable and the ship is not engaged in combat. The captain’s primary responsibility is the safety and survival of his ship, including all the crew. He would be charged with dereliction of duty if he exposed the crew and his command to unnecessary danger. So should our management be charged with dereliction by exposing our service members and our citizens to danger throughout the world by the recent inventory clearance transaction.
James P. Whitaker
A rewarding act
The focus of this year’s World Blood Donor Day, June 14, is “Give blood for those who give life!” Every day worldwide, about 800 women die from pregnancy or child birth-related complications.
I thank God we have a quality area blood bank, OneBlood, but more importantly that there is a large number of caring community “givers” donating their blood. When I’m giving blood, sometimes I’ll see a thank-you note posted on the wall that came from a recipient or a family member giving thanks for what you did to help save a life.
I started giving blood while I was in college, but now you may donate as young as 16. What has been rewarding is seeing my children, upon turning 16, want to give, sometimes on their 16th birthday. The secret of their desire is simple: While they were young, I rotated them to go with me to the blood center when I donated. They enjoyed a little snack or drink while watching me. Many times I gave them the donor T-shirt I received, and they used it for a night shirt. Now OneBlood gives movie tickets or gift cards.
My family kept five chairs busy at the Tampa-Dale Mabry donor center on Memorial Day weekend. We would have had it completely filled, but my 16-year-old’s birthday was the following week!
Remember, the need is constant and your donation is important for maintaining a healthy and reliable blood supply. You’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped save a life!